Transforming the Alloway Tunnel

by Alloway Railway Tunnel in Ayr, South Ayrshire Council, United Kingdom

We did it
On 21st April 2023 we successfully raised £5,140 ( + est. £540.00 Gift Aid ) with 66 supporters in 32 days

A community project to transform the dilapidated Alloway Railway Tunnel by creating a huge mural to make a beautiful and safe space

by Alloway Railway Tunnel in Ayr, South Ayrshire Council, United Kingdom

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Alloway Railway Tunnel


We are a Scottish charity with 7 trustees from a variety of backgrounds. We all care about improving our community by enhancing this walk/cycle path. We want to involve our community and engage with young people to help them learn new skills by giving them exciting opportunities to get involved with our project.

Below is a photo taken in the Colinton Tunnel, South of Edinburgh. (With kind permission to use this photo) Their amazing tunnel mural has been our inspiration. 

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Why we need your help


We want to transform an old, dilapidated tunnel that has been defaced with graffiti into a safe, inspiring place, with a beautiful hand painted mural by one of the UK’s top muralists and visionaries. Chris Rutterford.  

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Why does this project matter?

It matters because Alloway is an idyllic village in South Ayrshire with worldwide recognition as the birthplace of Robert Burns. We are proud of this legacy and want to ensure residents and visitors have the best experience when exploring our village. Improving the tunnel through an amazing art installation will enhance that experience and help us tell the story not just about Robert Burns, but about the history of Ayrshire.

Celebrate our heritage

The mural will have interactive elements so that visitors can learn about the history of Ayrshire. It will be a celebration of our heritage and provide a lasting legacy. People will love the new space and want to revisit time and time again.

Encourage active travel

By improving our cycle path through the village, we hope to encourage more people to enjoy cycling and walking and experience all the wellbeing benefits this brings.

Involving school pupils 

We will be visiting schools and youth groups to involve children in art workshops. They will learn creative skills through an educational process. Their work will be used to help create this massive mural and will create a sense of ownership and pride.

Involving our community

We will also be running creative workshops for adults who want to help paint the mural. We know it will be of interest to local art clubs, but we want it to be accessible to anyone who has an interest in helping to create the mural. It’s going to bring people together and with certain groups, will be a great rehabilitation project.

Increasing opportunities for students 

We are also liaising with students from Ayrshire College by providing exciting work experience opportunities in  creative arts, social science, business and tourism, construction and supported education. These opportunities will increase their skills, knowledge, experience and confidence and help them get started in their careers.

Our journey so far

Since we started, we have:

  • Achieved charity status
  • Determined what we need to do to prepare the tunnel for painting
  • Applied for planning permission
  • Received support from South Ayrshire Council and local MPs and MSPs
  • Started to raise funds
  • Engaged with our community to hear views and opinions from local people and to give them an opportunity to volunteer
  • Provided work placement opportunities to local students
  • Commissioned our mural artist and agreed our storyboard1678966122_storyboard_1.jpg

What’s in it for you?

As a supporter you will be helping us achieve our dream of completing this incredible mural.
We have some amazing rewards for you to claim.


If you pledge £10 you will become a ‘Friend of the Tunnel’ and we will keep in touch with you to let you know when it’s ready to visit.


If you pledge £50: you will receive an invitation to our VIP opening event scheduled for the autumn of 2024 and take part in an exclusive guided tour by our muralist.


If you pledge £100 you (or someone you nominate), can join a Chris Rutterford Mural Masterclass learning all about this amazing artform.


If you pledge £150, we will include your face in one of the crowd scenes of the mural.

What are people saying about us?

Sustrans – “We have awarded the Alloway Railway Tunnel project a Certificate of Appreciation for their inspirational volunteering.”

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“South Ayrshire Council is supportive of this project and happy to be a partner”

Siobhian Brown MSP “It was great to catch up along with Allan Dorans MP and hear how plans are progressing for the art project in the tunnel in Alloway.”

Ayrshire College Foundation “We are delighted to provide funding to the ART project.  The Collaborating Communities funding has enabled local projects like this to get off the ground and make a difference through collaboration, and the Alloway Railway Tunnel is an excellent example of what the Foundation set out to achieve.”


How we’ll spend the money raised


Getting funding is key to achieving our vision. We need to pay for the preparation of the tunnel walls, including cleaning, masonry painting, as well as the artist costs.

Please donate what you can to help us fundraise. Whatever you donate will get crowdfunded by Creative Scotland. From hundreds of applications for funding, we are one of 40 projects they have chosen to support this year. If you donate for example, £20. We can claim another £20 from Creative Scotland, plus Gift Aid. Your total donation would be £45. Just brilliant!

If you believe in our project, please share our crowdfunding campaign with everyone you know.

If you would like to volunteer for the Alloway Railway Tunnel project, please email [email protected] and let us know how you would like to help us.

FAQ’s

Where is Alloway Railway Tunnel?

It is right in the centre of Alloway Village across from the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Murdoch’s Loan, Alloway. KA7 4PQ, South Ayrshire, Scotland

Is the tunnel accessible now?

Yes – it’s used on average by 152 walkers and 52 cyclists each day. It is open, free, and accessible for all via a ramp down from Murdoch’s Loan. There is lighting in place, but it is still really gloomy and unwelcoming.

If there is graffiti already in the tunnel, are you worried that it will be vandalised in the future? 

We have been speaking to our friends at Colinton Tunnel and they have advised this has not been their experience. The local street artists were asked to be involved in the artwork during the construction phase and it was found that the taggers appreciated ‘good art’ and there have been no issues.

How long is the tunnel?

It is 135m long and 8m wide – it will be one of the largest murals in Scotland

 

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£10 or more

Friends of the Tunnel

If you pledge £10 or more you will become a ‘Friend of the Tunnel’ and we will keep in touch with you to let you know when the mural is completed and ready for you to visit.

£50 or more

VIP Ticket

If you pledge £50: you will receive an invitation to our VIP opening event scheduled for the autumn of 2024 and take part in an exclusive guided tour by our muralist.

£100 or more

0 of 15 claimed

Mural Master Class

If you pledge £100 you (or someone you nominate) can join a Chris Rutterford Mural Masterclass learning all about this amazing artform.

£150 or more

1 of 100 claimed

Your face included in the mural

If you pledge £150, we will include your face in one of the crowd scenes of the mural.

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